USC Defense gearing up for change

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By Earl Heath

Contributing Sports Writer


The past season, the USC football had plenty of offense. They had the Heisman Trophy winner and Walter Camp Player of the Year- Caleb Williams. They averaged 41 ppg but gave up 29 ppg. 

Compiling the problem was the team gave up a lot of that in the second half and 4th quarter. 

“Went back and watched a lot of film and even practice” said Defensive Coordinator Alex Grinch. “We gave up 17-points per Game in the final three games. It doesn’t ed up if you end up on the winning side of it but it eventually does,” 

He discovered one problem was in practice. 

Off season recruiting looked to have helped a bit as some impressive transferred and veterans land on the team. 

Newcomers include Bear Alexander, Kyon Barrs, Anthony Lucas Texas A&M. 

“The young guys seem like they want to learn, that’s 

what helps a team be competitive and grow as a unit,” said Barrs They are eager to go right away and play when their name is called.” 

Kyon transferred to USC in the spring He played four years at Arizona. His senior season he had 39 tackles, with 4.5 for losses and 1 quarterback hurry while starting in 12 games as a senior defensive lineman in 2022. He had 5 tackles against Mississippi State, California, USC and Washington State. 

As a junior for the Wildcats he played in 10 games with 7 starts and totaled 33 tackles, with 8 for losses, and a team-leading 5 sacks. He finished the year ranked tied for 8th in sacks. That landed him as a the PAC-12 second team. 

Kyon Barrs (92) (Photo: Javon Moore)

Bear Alexander (90) (Photo: Javon Moore)

He played his prep ball at Murrieta Mesa High. 

He has a bachelor’s degree in general studies-   Sports and Society from Arizona. Presently he’s pursuing a certificate in Gerontology at USC with a 3.50 GPA. 

“I thought USC would be a great place to play my final year of College football,” said the 6-2,290 pounder. He’s not only looking forward to playing at the Coliseum. He’s can’t wait to travel to Notre Dame and face the Irish in their historic stadium. 

He will be playing along side another transfer Bear Alexander a 6-3 305 pounder who come from National Champion Georgia. 

“I’ve been welcomed with open arms by everyone,” said Alexander. “Since being it seems like everyone is going for the same thing get a National Championship.” 

With a sound environment and new faces on the team there is a big change already. Coach Grinch summed up his expectations. The guys last year did a good job but this year
I’m expecting more.”  

ADD TROJANS: Barrs and Alexander were both named honorable mention PAC -12 pre-season. They are joined by TROJAN first teamers: Caleb Williams, Maleek Brown (special teamer- WR), Calen Bullock a first team All-American, Dorian Singer-WR and punter Eddie Czapilicki. 

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